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Friday, July 15, 2016

Bathing Bears!

At 3AM, I was awakened by Shyla. Her body was jerking as her muscles spasmed rhythmically. They'd spasm and then release, about 20 times per minute. It was not a seizure because Shyla was fully conscious, responding to me, and able to walk. I got her up and walked her around, and the "jerking" stopped while she walked. Then, it restarted when she laid down on a dog bed. I kept walking her around, and then letting her lie down, hoping that the jerking would go away for good. It didn't after about an hour of this routine.

So, we got to drive to the Emergency Vet at 4AM this morning. Fortunately, the jerking finally stopped on the way to the vet. The vet didn't know why it had happened but sent us home with the instructions to video it if it happened again. It hasn't happened again so perhaps it was a one-time thing. I hope so.

Today is the anniversary of the deaths of two of our dogs, K (4 years ago) and Acadia (13 years ago). My heart really didn't need to start the day in the vet hospital with Shyla. At least we weren't in the same room where K took her last breath - a small blessing.

So, it comes as no surprise that I am still not feeling well - probably due to the accumulated stress from the fire plus our foray to town at 4AM. Sorry this post is so late - I'm at half speed today.

To cheer myself up, I made a fun video of some bears playing in a spring on the 4th of July. There's nothing that I love more than seeing bears take baths - they make me laugh! Plus, both of the sows who bathed have cubs so I bet that we'll get to see the cubs play in the water pretty soon!

Here's a photo of one mother bear arriving at the spring with her cub in tow. Her cub didn't bathe but you can hear the mother bear grunt to call her cub at one point in the video.

Here's the video which you can watch here or at Youtube.

I will soon show you a video of Socks, our former lost yearling cub, hanging out with the big males of our territory during mating season. She's now about 5 years old so it makes sense that she may be about to have her first litter of cubs. I am overjoyed that we'll probably get to see Socks raise cubs next year. Here's a photo of Socks, which should remind you of why I named her Socks (her black legs)!
I believe that Socks is Cinnamom's daughter, a bear who long-time readers may remember. If you search for "Cinnamom" within this blog, you'll find lots of posts about her and her cubs. Cinnamom was killed by authorities late in 2014. If you look at the old posts, she already had a strike against her as shown by her ear tags. A "strike" means that she went too close to humans or human residences. A bear with ear tags doesn't get much leeway from the authorities, and thus, Cinnamom is gone.

I love having the daughters of bears who I adored watching carry on their traditions - like Socks is doing for her mom, Cinnamom. Similarly, Shyla is carrying on the traditions of our previous female Labs who died on this date, Angel K and Angel Acadia.


  1. Not the day's start that you would like. Could there be smoke or ash or anything from the fire that Shyla is allergic to? And K's Anniversary, memories of your dearest girl, heaps of hugs and love from down here. I am sure that your headaches and more come from all that stress, the not knowing what you might find when you were allowed to get back home.There is altogether too much sadness in the world right now. XXX

  2. We wondered the same thing about the smoke aggravating Shyla in some way. We sure hope it is not seizure-related in any way. We don't want to see anyone else have to deal with THAT. Gentle hugs to you on this special day. It may have been a day of great loss, but it did leave you with many wonderful memories.

    Now back to watch the bears:)

  3. KB, you'd probably have already thought of this, but could the red stuff they dumped on the fire zones be creating any short-term effects? Last night I wondered if it might cause you to have a migraine, but now I also wonder about Shyla. During the height of the firefighting, one of the agencies posted a link on twitter to an article about the stuff, but I couldn't find it tonight. Just a thought.
    Oh those bathing bears! :) I think they do NOT want to get water in their ears! Thanks for taking the time to edit the footage and post tonight :)

  4. Man I hope it is nothing for poor Shyla. This happened to a friend of mine and she rushed her dog to ER and they thought it must have been some sort of drug that her dog found on their walk. Love the bear video and makes me so sad that Cinnamon had to die. Close to where I live they capture and release at a location far away.

  5. So much stress lately for your whole family.
    I hope the issue with Shyla was just a one time thing.
    We love the bears!!!
    Thank you

  6. What a week you and your pack have had!! Sending hugs your way in hope that next week is better!!

  7. we hope it was a one time thing and everything is ok with Shyla.... hugs to you, such days are not easy.... and a big hug to your fur angels...
    thanks for sharing this wonderful video... I probably learnt more about your wildlife than with all tv-shows I saw...

  8. Oh no - what a stressful start to your day. We hope this is a one-time thing for you, Shyla. Hugs to you, KB♥

  9. Hari OM
    Sending POTP to you first of all, then to Shyla; may the weekend clear all the 'irits' away! Meanwhile, watching those bears is a salve to any heart needing soothed - what wonderfurs moments to capture!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  10. That sure had to be scary and hopefully it will never come back sweet Shyla. Those bears made us smile too.

  11. that is really scary about the jerking, hope it is gone for good, have never heard of this before.. i love the bears, but you knew that. i am waiting to see what you find on your cameras after this fire is gone and if the cameras are still there. i keep fretting over mama and her cubs. hope they are ok

  12. Hopefully it was just the remains of being uprooted because of the fire that caused Shyla's seizures. Dogs have anxiety just like humans. You are not feeling well so Shyla has the same sensors.
    Glad your flowers and the animals seem to be popping out.
    Sweet William The Scot

  13. We'll keep paws crossed that Shyla is okay! Maybe just a muscle cramp/spasm?

    ...and thanks for your comments. We missed blogging and it's great to be back!

    Monty, Harlow and Ramble

  14. The bears were wonderful as always. We hope Shyla's spasm was just a fluke thingy. I hope you take extra good care of yourself on this difficult day and know you have a community behind you.

  15. What an odd thing Shyla went through. I certainly hope it was just some odd (non-recurring!) thing. The 15th was the day I lost my first corgi, 13 years ago. We still put out a special vase of flowers to honor his memory.

  16. First of all, hope Shyla's spasm is a one off. but isn't it typical that it disappears when you get to the Vet?!

    Love the bears....especially the legs-out-stomach-crawl bath...LOL!

  17. Sounds almost like Shyla had a bad case of the hiccups - I've seen something very similar in my dogs - spasms, many times a minute, change of position (such as walking) may stop them momentarily, but then they start again. Hopefully, it doesn't recur and didn't signal anything more serious.
    Loved the bear bathing videos! :)

  18. Yes, we agree with one of your commenters that there is altogether too much sadness in the world right hard to stay positive. Glad that Shyla seems to be O.K. and R is improving. So love your photographs! Looking forward to watching the bears bathe...

  19. Could be the smoke, could be the stress, could be picking up on human stress, we are praying it doesn't happen again

  20. We hope that Shyla doesn't have another episode. Mom used to have a poodle mix and when SLC had its infamous tornado it made Leroy have a spasming event that night. It was never repeated. The dogtur said sometimes these things cause such a reaction. Keep Calm & Watch Bears!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  21. the bear video is so fun to watch! We too hope that the Shyla's spasms do not return.
    Mr Bailey Hazel & Mabel


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